On a successful weekend for OURFC teams, the Greyhounds, Whippets and Panthers all enjoyed victories over a three day period.
On Friday night at Iffley Road the Greyhounds hosted local club side Witney in the first round of the Oxfordshire County Cup; at the same stage last season Witney secured a home win, but this year the Hounds proved too strong, particularly in the first-half to secure a 27 points to 17 win and set up a home quarter-final tie with Oxford Harlequins. Scorers for the Greyhounds were, Tries – Full-back Robbie Fraser (2), flanker Dan Radigan and fly-half Tom Dyer who also added 3 conversions.
On Sunday afternoon the Whippets, welcomed Didcot to Iffley Road in the first round of the Oxfordshire County Shield, the first time the Whippets have entered this particularly competition and ultimately proved too strong for the local cub side running out victors by 36 points to 6. Scorers for the Whippets were, Tries No 8 Saasha Agureev, wing Will Harris, scrum-half Charlie Wells, full-back Hugo Batten and fly-half James Baker, who also added 4 conversions and 1 penalty. The Whippets will now host Harwell in the quarter-final.
Also, on Sunday afternoon the Panthers travelled to Grove for a friendly fixture and secured a highly encouraging 30 points to 24 victory over Harpenden ladies. The Panthers set off for their first match of the season excited and ready to put into practice what they had been working on in training. The Panthers were joined by the women’s squad at Grove RFC to take on Harpenden in a team that had a mix of experience, including a number of players making their debuts! This lack of experience showed in the first ten minutes, when the defensive line was struggling to get organised. This was taken advantage of by Harpenden who scored two tries in succession leaving Panthers/Grove 12-0 down. However, the team rallied and showed huge improvements in their organisation leading to a well-deserved try by Kayla Nicholl who beat a number of defenders to score under the posts. Panthers/Grove maintained this pressure with another fantastic individual effort by Nicholl to bring the combined side within touching distance of Harpenden. The team had caught the try-scoring bug and some great work by the backs put centre Emily Bamber in just left of the posts to bring us in front. Another converted try by Harpenden meant that Panthers/Grove went into half time 19-15 down, but still full of energy and ready to get some more points on the scoreboard. Following the advice of the coaches at half time, Panthers/Grove came out hard and worked on getting the ball wider, leading to a try in the corner by winger Katie Barbour-Smith in her first match. The Panthers/Grove team were determined to stay in Harpenden’s half with a move off the scrum delivering a try for No 8 Anna Gibson. Another try by Nicholl was almost inevitable at this point to complete her hat-trick, and she delivered with a lovely run, side-stepping tackles to beat several defenders before scoring in the corner. The visiting side still had more left in their tank though, and despite some amazing defensive work by the Panthers/Grove side, Harpenden scored a final try in the last minute of the match. Even with this try the team were determined to keep fighting, with the conversion successfully charged down by Kayla. Congratulations to all the girls playing their first match today! The intensity and commitment was fantastic and the squad are looking forward to further successes this season! Forward of the Match going jointly to Kayla Nicholl and Gwen Cartwright, and back of the match to Avril Matavesi.
Thanks to Leanne Robinson and Sophie Behan, who provided coaching and snacks, and to the Grove ladies for having us.